Sharks partner with artist Mohamed Fofana for Juneteenth shirt design

Funds from the shirt’s sale will go to the African American Community Service Agency in San Jose.

In celebration of Juneteenth, the San Jose Sharks have partnered with artist Mohamed Fofana — who also works in the team’s front office as an account manager — to raise funds for the African American Community Service Agency in San Jose by releasing a t-shirt designed by Fofana. The design uses the Sharks’ iconic logo, replacing the orange hockey stick with the chains of shackled wrists. Juneteenth marks the anniversary of the emancipation of slaves in Texas, and thus the “final” day of slavery in the United States.

Fofana shared the design in a short Twitter video Friday evening:

“Happy Juneteenth, everyone!” he says, “Thank you so much for all your messages and tagging me in all your posts. I really appreciate it. I created this from the heart and I hope that it will spark conversation and get more people to know about Juneteenth. And also to celebrate that the organization I work for is supporting these conversations, and the dialogues, and wanted to make sure that other sports teams can learn from us and be part of it, so, thank you guys so much again.”

Fofana describes the design in more detail on Instagram:

“I am so grateful for the opportunity and the platform from the San Jose Sharks to create something from the heart to symbolize Juneteenth! I never imagined me sharing my art and talking about racial injustice with my team would lead to this. I sincerely thank everyone involved and I’ll leave you with this: lead with pure intentions, lead with purpose and never dim your light because you’re afraid it may be too bright for others to see.

“The Shark biting through the chains represents the San Jose Sharks taking a stand against systemic racism and it also symbolizes the importance that professional sports organizations play in taking a stand and recognizing that change starts within.”

The design is available on a t-shirt through the SJ Team Shop and sells for $24.99 (as of publishing, size small appears to have sold out, but the team announced adding size XXL and re-stocking mediums, so go quickly!). The Sharks Foundation has pledged to match all proceeds in an addition donation to the African American Community Service Agency, which serves as the only multi-service Community Center for Black people in Northern California.

“In recognition of Juneteenth, our front office is starting a new tradition,” the team announced on their website. “As an organization, we will be dedicating time on this day each year to actively participate in Juneteenth. Our goal - to advance meaningful progress.”

The post also includes a list of resources and education materials with regards to Black History. In particular, I’d like to share the list of local organizations they provide, as that’s another opportunity for actionable change in the community:

Additionally, the Sharks Foundation is running an auction through June 20 at 12 p.m., which includes a canvas painting of Fofana’s design.

And adorably, the design is Joel Ward approved:

Buy the Shirt | Mohamed Fofana on Twitter & Instagram